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SPORTS
November 25, 2009 | Sam Farmer
The New England Patriots don't have the perfect defense, but in Week 12 they'll be defending perfect. They play at New Orleans on Monday, and the Saints are a club-record 10-0. New England is the only team to finish the regular season 16-0, so the Patriots have a chance to guarantee New Orleans won't threaten that record. ( Tom Brady & Co. tried and failed to dent Indianapolis' pristine record two games ago.) But it isn't about preserving history for the Patriots. They're singularly focused on the here and now, and that means tightening their grip on the AFC East.
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SPORTS
December 30, 2009 | By Sam Farmer, On The NFL
The New York Jets might have some thank-you notes to write -- especially if Cincinnati lies down Sunday the way Indianapolis did -- but don't expect their players to apologize if qualifying for the NFL postseason required only that they beat two squads of second-stringers. "I ain't apologizing for jack," Jets linebacker Bart Scott said. "I didn't apologize for losing three last-second games this year. I didn't make excuses for losing some of the tough games that we lost." Down deep, the Jets have to be surprised their playoff hopes still have a pulse.
SPORTS
January 28, 2010 | Sam Farmer
What the Indianapolis Colts' offense needs to concentrate on to combat the New Orleans Saints' defense in Super Bowl XLIV. Beat the clock Peyton Manning is the best in the business when it comes to squeezing every last second out of the play clock to figure out what the defense is doing. The NFL is all about disguise, and the Saints defense will want to hide whether it's in man or zone coverage because Manning can exploit that. You frequently see Manning pointing across the line of scrimmage, often at a linebacker.
SPORTS
December 7, 2009 | By Kevin Baxter
Peyton Manning can't remember the last time he won 21 consecutive times at anything. "Usually you don't play that many games in a row in youth basketball or whatnot," he said. "So that's a lot of wins." It's also the number of consecutive regular-season games Manning's Indianapolis Colts have won after equaling the NFL record Sunday with a 27-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Indianapolis (12-0), whose last regular-season loss came in October 2008 at Tennessee, can break the record by beating the Denver Broncos next weekend at home.
SPORTS
December 7, 2009 | Sam Farmer
One was playing to maintain perfection. The other to salvage pride. And in the end Sunday, the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders -- teams with very little in common this season -- each pulled off remarkable come-from-behind victories. The undefeated Saints faced three 10-point deficits at Washington before rallying to beat the Redskins in overtime, 33-30. The three-win Raiders scored three late touchdowns -- the last with nine seconds left -- to stun the Steelers at Pittsburgh, 27-24, and deal a devastating blow to the postseason hopes of the defending Super Bowl champions.
SPORTS
January 4, 2010
at Buffalo 30 , Indianapolis 7: "Hey, Dad, let's save up our money and go to the season finale! I've always wanted to see Peyton Manning play!" at Carolina 23, New Orleans 10: Saints have all the forward momentum of a guy on a Segway going uphill in a windstorm. at Cleveland 23, Jacksonville 17: Does winning your last four in a row really make a 5-11 finish palatable to Browns fans? Chicago 37, at Detroit 23: Lions are 2-30 over last two seasons, just two more wins than they'd have had if they fielded a team of 8-year-olds.
SPORTS
February 8, 2010
PASSING LEADERS Saints Brees...7-7, 48 yards, TD Colts Manning...14-21, 171 yards RECEIVING LEADERS Saints D. Thomas...1, 9 yards Colts Garcon...3, 44 yards RUSHING LEADERS Saints Bush...1, 12 yards Colts Addai...3, -2 yards Momentum: The Colts kept their first drive alive with a fourth-and-two conversion, but it all went downhill once Matt Stover missed the ensuing 51-yard field-goal try. The Saints followed with a 58-yard TD drive and two-point conversion.
SPORTS
January 18, 2010
Conference championships N.Y. JETS AT INDIANAPOLIS Sunday, noon PST, Channel 2 The Colts had a chance for a 16-0 regular season. But when they were 14-0 last month and playing host to the Jets, they pulled Peyton Manning in the third quarter and replaced him with untested rookie Curtis Painter. The Jets quickly erased a five-point deficit and won, 29-15, staying in the postseason picture with that victory. Now, New York wants to prove it can win again -- with or without Manning in the game.
SPORTS
December 28, 2009 | By Sam Farmer
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings each started the season with new quarterbacks and renewed Super Bowl hopes. The similarities end there. The NFC North rivals meet in Chicago tonight, with the Vikings headed for the postseason and the Bears heading back to the drawing board. Jay Cutler leads the NFL with 25 interceptions and his Bears have lost six of seven. Brett Favre has only seven interceptions -- easily on pace for his career low as a starter -- and the Vikings clinched their division a week ago. But that's not to say all is rosy in Minnesota.
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